About the research
This page is dedicated to the findings of the ELC Expansion: Exploring innovative delivery models to sustain rural communities research project that was funded by the Scottish Government and the European Social Innovation Fund and led by ourselves – Care and Learning Alliance (CALA).
The research project explored new models of rural childcare to support and sustain an inclusive rural economy in the Highlands. Many of our findings, however, will be of interest to providers outwith Highland.
The research focused on the key issue of how high quality, flexible, accessible and affordable early learning and childcare can be provided in the Highlands and supported and sustained in an inclusive rural economy. This was explored through the following four key work strands:
The availability of a strong and sustainable workforce – reviewing the workforce implications of the expansion agenda, including staffing, qualifications and where the future workforce will come from
The use of ‘alternative’ places and times – looking at different venues/facilities and models in ELC, asking how flexibility and accessibility may be impacted by the timings of sessions.
The value of intergenerational partnerships – assessing the benefits to ELC provision and the wider community of developing intergenerational working and partnerships.
Transport issues – reviewing a wide range of different transport options to support a more mobile approach to the delivery of ELC in rural areas.
Scroll down to explore a summary of some of the ‘Key Learning’ points and other relevant documents and papers from the research.